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Dancing for the Dream

Tom and Rita Dunn dazzle the audience with a disco number during the ninth annual Dancing for the Dream at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. The couple won the contest in 2017.

CLEAR LAKE | Six couples will take the dance floor and compete for the Crystal Ball Trophy during the 11th annual Dancing for the Dream fundraiser for the North Iowa Vocational Center on March 30.

The event, which raises money to support job training and placement for people with disabilities in North Iowa, is from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. It features a silent auction, live auction, music and the dance contest.

“People with disabilities have the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us, so helping them have stable housing and employment is what it’s all about,” said Sherry Becker, NIVC Services executive director.

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Since the event started in 2009, it’s raised more than $325,000 for NIVC. Last year, Dancing for the Dream met its $75,000 goal with more than 500 people attending.

“It’s just amazing really,” she said. “That would equate to 6,000 hours of job coaching ... That’s a lot of support to people in their jobs.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of NIVC, a nonprofit organization with offices and businesses located throughout North Iowa, including Affordables Marketplace, JobLink, Affordables and Java Works Coffee Shop in Mason City.

In celebration of its anniversary, NIVC will accept $50 donations during the event.

“The money’s really important, but the awareness and education of what we do is invaluable to what we do,” Becker said.

This year’s North Iowa “celebrity” dancers and their partners are:

  • Roger Brock, Confluence Academy of St. Louis, with Laura Studer Brock, EAGLE College Preparatory School of St. Louis and 1982 Mason City High School graduate.
  • Roger Pollock, Four Oaks, with Misty Gomez, Dental Center of North Iowa.
  • Jeff Kellogg, Cambrex of Charles City, with Katie Kellogg, homeschool teacher.
  • Tom Kirby, Mason City Schools, with Betsy Kirby, Mason City Schools.
  • Jeff Rosenberg, Castwell Products LLC, with Megan Rosenberg, Cady Rosenberg Law.
  • Terry Wisner, Titan Pro, with Brenda Wisner, Rodan & Fields.

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Aaron Anderson, Dalena Barz, Riley Galvin, Rich Piscopo and Gary Wattnem will be at the judges’ table scoring the performances, but the audience and supporters will vote with donations before and during the event. The dancers who raise the most money are deemed the winner. Last year’s winners were Rita, Meredith and Tom Dunn.

Appetizers, silent auction and music by Nonsemble will be available after doors open at 6 p.m. The dance contest and the live auction will be intermingled from 7 to 9 p.m.

Some of the live auction items are:

  • Iowa State University sky box football seats
  • International-themed dinners for eight.
  • Air Choice One tickets

During the event, Becker said the organization, which is merging with North Iowa Transition Center, will unveil its new name.

“There’s always more people than money and always more need than funded for, so this helps us with our gap,” Becker said.

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Tickets are available at Affordable and Affordables Marketplace, nivcservices.org or by texting D4D to 41444. Tables for eight can be reserved by calling 641-423-3301.

Contact Becker at 641-423-3301 or sherry@nivcservices.org for more information.

Photos: Past Dancing for the Dream competitions

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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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